Unity Biotechnology – Senolytics

Summary

UNITY is a biotech company working on the removal of senescent cells, which accumulate with age, drive chronic inflammation, and spur various age-related diseases.

Founded by Drs. Jan van Deursen, Judith Campisi, Nathaniel David, and Daohong Zhou, the company has been developing senolytic therapies that can purge senescent cells from the body without harming healthy cells. The idea is that removing these problem cells could help us to maintain health and remain free of disease as we grow older.

The company’s lead candidate drug, UBX0101, is designed to treat musculoskeletal disease, with an initial focus on osteoarthritis. The candidate is a uniquely senolytic small molecule inhibitor of the MDM2/p53 protein interaction. Disruption of this protein interaction triggers the destruction of senescent cells.

UNITY has recently completed Investigational New Drug (IND) application-enabling studies of UBX0101 and submitted an IND application in early 2018. 

The IND application has now been cleared by the FDA, and they plan to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in osteoarthritis in the second quarter of 2018.

Their second drug candidate UBX1967, an inhibitor of specific members of the Bcl-2 family of apoptosis regulatory proteins is slated for IND application and Phase 1 clinical study for an ophthalmological indication in the second half of 2019.

It is also developing senolytic candidates for a variety of other age-related diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Website: UNITY Biotechnology

Articles:

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